by Joel Fernandez
In a world where everyone feels that their voice should matter in the grand scheme of things, being able to affect palpable change in a passive way can be both a blessing and a curse. There can be times when positive social change is one existential statement away. At other times, it becomes very easy to attract the wrong kind of attention for all of the wrong reasons. Today’s discussion will include examples of both ends of the spectrum and is in no way meant to trivialize the struggle of cancer patients around the world. Think of it as empathy in the form of sharing pain as a means to alleviate it.
Being able to affect change in a positive way is something most people would like to do. At the very least, everyone in society likes to benefit from positive social change. Politicians and their media puppets would have us believe that everyone is entitled to a participation trophy when it comes to cultural relevance. But they only say that because making the general public feel good about themselves is the easiest way to get people to contribute to the establishment’s ideal version of the status quo. The result of such an ancient political tactic is that it gives characteristically unremarkable individuals an obnoxious sense of entitlement that compels them to engage in all manner of socially acceptable buffoonery.
It would be unreasonable to expect everything to go perfectly all of the time. But there’s something wrong when polarization on a national scale is derived from one specific person’s supposedly “private” moments. Needless to say, it gets awkward when a significant number of relatively insignificant individuals band together to voice their ingratitude towards a gesture that was not meant for any of them in the first place. More succinctly, things become extremely awkward when words and deeds that are meant for the object of your affection draw the ire of inferior specimens irrespective of gender.
Imagine watching a movie where prince charming sweeps the fair damsel in distress off of her feet but gets tarred and feathered by the commoners on the way back from slaying a gargantuan monster. That doesn’t sound like much of a happy ending by any stretch of the imagination. The egregiousness of the situation is compounded when an entire subculture based on negative reinforcement emerges. Which is to say that informal social control overreach becomes the norm instead of it being categorized as the occasional anomaly.
Let’s use the most powerful country in the world as an example. The United States of America is well known for being the world’s most significant “superpower”. They are even more well known for exercising what they feel is their right to geopolitical bragging rights. Whether or not they deserve that kind of global deference is up to our readers to decide and is actually beside the point. American domestic politics is based on making the national and local constituencies feel good about themselves by handing everyone a participation trophy just for being American. It stands to reason that a nation full of confident people will achieve great things, so their choice to treat every speech like a national pep rally has proven to be a solid strategy.
Just like anything else in life, sometimes we have to take the good with the bad. The downside to having everyone in the country believe that they are inherently great and entitled to an almost socialist version of exceptionalism is that it introduces pomposity to the collective unconscious at its most fundamental level. While it is true that most Americans are able to blend into their level of society with relative ease, there is a margin of error. If the so called experts in the “mainstream”media are to be believed, the embarrassingly high number of mass shootings that take place in the United States are always caused by narcissism. If that is indeed the case, it would be prudent to understand the root of the alleged narcissism instead of turning the word itself into a scapegoat.
Every single time that a mass shooting is splashed across the news, two things happen. One; the shooter is called a narcissist. Two; the shooter is then demonized by everyone across the board. Often times, the shooter is someone that appeared to be normal until their mentality took a turn for the worst. That means that their allegedly narcissistic mentality went unnoticed all the way up to a certain point. Specifically when he or she (usually he) decided to kill as many people as possible before getting gunned down or arrested.
If we do some social arithmetic together, we will see that the fact that extreme narcissism can go unnoticed until it becomes murderous in nature means that regular narcissism did not prevent the shooter from blending into society. Meaning that the society that the shooter managed to blend into is inherently narcissistic to a certain extent. After seeing all of the “facts” in the mainstream media time-line take place in the order that they occurred, there is only one question left to ask. That is whether the titular “social cancer” that we have been discussing comes from the individual or the society that the shooter managed to blend into perfectly up until a certain point. Let’s try to answer the question honestly.
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